MELBOURNE, FL – Florida Southern's John VanDerLaan is the Sunshine State Conference Player-of-the-Week for men's golf following his individual win in last week's Copperhead Championship at Innisbrook Resort. VanDerLaan's performance also helped the 3rd-ranked Moccasins win the team title by three shots over top-ranked West Florida.
VanDerLaan posted scores of 70, 72 and 66 to finish with a five-under par 208. That 66 in the final round allowed VanDerLaan to move up six spots and tie with Saint Leo's Alberto Castagnara for first place at the end of three rounds. Needing a playoff to decide the individual title, VanDerLaan was able to par that hole and win by one stroke, giving him his first win of the 2017-18 season and third of the calendar year. He also won the Panther Invitational and the Division II South/Southeast Super Regional last spring, and has had four other second- or third-place finishes in his last 10 tournaments.
During the Copperhead Championship, VanDerLaan led the 75-player field with 17 birdies, which was four more than second place Chandler Blanchet of West Florida, and six more than anyone else. He was one of only three golfers to break par, and his final-round 66 tied for the best individual round of the tournament.
The SSC Player-of-the-Week award is the third for VanDerLaan in his career. He won it twice last year (once in the fall and once in the spring) on his way to being selected as the SSC Men's Golfer-of-the-Year, and earning a spot as a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus National Player-of-the-Year. It's also the second player-of-the-week award for a Moccasin men's golfer this year in three opportunities. Fellow senior and All-American John Coultas was honored after Florida Southern's first tournament of the season.